POWER RANKINGS 2022: SpeedSeries
This year, the SpeedSeries emerged as a fantastic additional offering for Australian motorsport fans, with quality and storylines running deep.
After the pandemic wreaked havoc on this tier of the sport in recent times, the 2022 season provided a stable calendar of events around the country.
Via the Power Rankings throughout the year, the best bits of each SpeedSeries event were listed – for this review, with have scored the various rankings on a scale of 10 points to 1.
While this is hardly scientific, we’re satisfied that it provides a reasonable guide to the best bits of season 2022.
So strap in, here are the top-10 HOTs and a smattering of rather large NOTs to round out a banging season of SpeedSeries competition…
1. Sandown Finishes
The Sandown SpeedSeries event was the worst of rounds, with horrendous Melbourne weather impacting proceedings, but on the flip side, the conditions helped produce some of the biggest moments of the Australian motorsport season.
For instance, the insane GT World Challenge finish featured multiple last-lap passes after a mid-race red flag for flooding, the TCR finish was the dictionary definition of chaos, with cars transiting an actual lake at the final corner, the second TCM race produced in the closest finish in the history of the category (think about that), while the Porsche Sprint Challenge battle to the flag between Tom Sargent and Ryan Wood and others on a wet/dry track was an absolute classic.
The Sandown finishes registered the top spot for the season after claiming the first-four HOTs for the Sandown Power Rankings.
The 2022 season firmly cemented TCR in Australia, with some great racing the standard serving.
From giant killing privateer efforts upstaging the fancied pros, to some great battles throughout the field, on any given weekend, any number of drivers were in with a genuine chance of success.
The headline act registered strong points across the season, with the promise of more new kit for 2023 an exciting prospect.
3. Trans Am
There’s a whole heap to love about Trans Am racing in Australia, with a great mix of drivers duking it out in very similar equipment.
Outside of the likes of Nathan Herne and Owen Kelly, a deep field was there to play their part, including Tim Brook, Lachie Dalton, Kyle Gurton, Ben Grice, Brett Holdsworth, plus next-gen youngsters like Jett Johnson and Nash Morris, there was action aplenty.
The Trans Ams as a category was a standout at Phillip Island and Queensland Raceway.
4. TV of Things
The SpeedSeries entered a brave new world in 2022 with its groundbreaking deal to see the rounds broadcast on Stan Sport and on free-to-air via the Nine Network, and for those that tuned in, they were treated to some first-rate entertainment.
While many of the talking heads are seasoned motorsport pros, they were joined by relatively new faces in the motorsport broadcasting scene, who in their own right were just ace.
There were many innovations thrown into the mix with fresh camera angles tried out at times, plus the return of classics, such as live mid-race driver chats, such as with Michael Caruso, below.
The broadcasts were an excellent weekend companion if you couldn’t be trackside.
5. Bathurst 6 Hour
An enduro at Bathurst once again delivered, with Easter’s Six Hour a memorable one.
A deep, quality field, stacked with star power and a battle that went right down to the wire, you couldn’t ask for much more than that.
The ultimate pass for the win, below, sums things up nicely.
6. Porsche Sprint Challenge
It will be interesting in years to come to look back at the 2022 Porsche Sprint Challenge field.
Stacked with young guns looking to make their mark, the likes of Thomas Sargent and Ryan Wood make big steps up in 2023, the former heading Porsche racing in North America, the latter enlisted with Walkinshaw Andretti United in Super2.
Aron Shields was also strong, ditto Courtney Prince, Lachie Bloxsom and others – even the Pro-Am battles were just great.
The Porsches figured prominently at Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park.
=7. Touring Car Masters
It’s hard not to love the Touring Car Masters, and this year, they absolutely turned it on.
Ryan Hansford was ultimately victorious, but he had to fight for his maiden title.
John Bowe was strong, ditto Steven Johnson when he appeared late in the year, while the likes of George Miedecke, Michael Almond and Andrew Fisher were always in the mix.
TCM was an absolute standout at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst Invitational, plus the Queensland Raceway round.
=7. Tony D’Alberto
While other major titles around the world in 2022 were runaway non-contests, Tony D’Alberto utilised pure consistency to secure his first TCR Australia crown.
The snakes and ladders of the season finale at Mount Panorama, where the Honda driver teetered on and off claiming the title, was a classic.
=9. GT World Challenge
Cool cars driven by some quality drivers were a hallmark of the latest GT season.
Talent such as Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander, David Reynolds, Broc Feeney, Chaz Mostert, Christopher Mies, Tony D’Alberto and more shared the track with high-quality AM drivers in the form of Yasser Shahin, Liam Talbot, Prince Jeffri Ibrahim, Fraser Ross, Tony Bates and more – it was a great mix.
The class picked up strong nominations at both Bathurst and Phillip Island.
High-quality operators in high-powered big-winged open-wheelers, it was a great recipe.
While Joey Mawson secured the Australian Driver’s Championship, the likes of James Golding, Cooper Webster, Tim Macrow and Aaron Cameron were perennially in the mix, then there were outsiders such as Josh Fife, Shae Davies and Kaleb Ngatoa also securing wins.
S5000 was the highlight class from the Race Tasmania event that opened the season, and would have figured more prominently in these rankings with additional events on the SpeedSeries calendar.
- The return to a revamped Queensland Raceway
- Night racing at Sydney Motorsport Park
- Formula Ford, and its return to the program at Phillip Island
- Zac Soutar, after a giant-killing performance at Symmons Plains
- Supercheap Auto, with some big trackside activations during the season
- Phillip Island, which was looking its best for the second event of the year
- Jett Johnson, who genuinely stepped up at Queensland Raceway in the Trans Ams
- Fabian Coulthard, who broke through in TCR at Phillip Island